Tuesday, October 20, 2009

something to spice up your halloween party

Abe & I have made a study of classic movies*, in part motivated by our Friday night trips to the library after everyone else has checked out the coveted new (after 1995) releases.

Many of these classics make for good Halloween celebratory fodder. Especially if you are easily creeped out (Sixth Sense and Watcher in the Woods top my horrometer). Some of these are actually quite good, some are good because they are oh, so bad.

I've added production dates and tag lines from IMDB for each movie.

Dracula 1931, "In the annals of living horror, one name stands out as the epitome of evil."
The Birds, 1963, "Suspense and shock beyond anything you have seen or imagined!"
Strangers on a Train - just the Carousel scene 1951, "It starts with a shriek of a train whistle...and ends with shrieking excitement."
Frankenstein 1931, "A Monster Science Created - But Could Not Destroy!"
Wait Until Dark 1967, "A blind woman plays a deadly game of survival."
Plan 9 from Outer Space 1959, "Unspeakable Horrors From Outer Space Paralyze The Living And Resurrect The Dead!"
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers 1956, "Before You Scoff at Flying Saucers - See the Greatest SHOCK Film of All Time!"
Creature from the Black Lagoon 1954, "A scientific expedition traveling up the Amazon River encounter a dangerous humanoid amphibious fish creature."
King Kong 1933, "A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal giant gorilla who takes a shine to their female blonde star."

Catspaw (Original Star Trek Season 2 Halloween Episode, 1967)

*And by study I mean Abe watches them and I fall asleep 2/3 of the way through. Really, the only movie on this list I didn't fall asleep through was Wait Until Dark.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

a commitment to taking more walks

I have been on many pleasant walks. So many, in fact, that I was resolved at the beginning of fall to take more walks.

Two Sundays ago, Abe & I took a mid-afternoon stroll around the neighborhood. I was fascinated with taking pictures of the beautiful scenery.

Abe was talking on the phone with his father.

Meanwhile, the sky looked like this.

We decided we'd better return before the clouds got angrier. The sprinkles started as we were walking down a dirt path back home. Abe was still talking to his dad.

The sprinkles got heavier. We started to jog. Abe was still on the phone ("Uh huh. ... Yeah, that sounds good, dad. ... Sure. ...").

Now it was pouring. And I had taken a wrong turn on the path so we were headed back the long way. Abe was still on the phone, but managed a graceful exit ("Actually, we're running through a rain storm right now - can I call you back in a minute?").

Did I mention that I was in a skirt and sandals this whole time?

The photo doesn't do our sopping selves justice.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

these are a few of my favorite fonts

Several years ago I interned for BYU Magazine. My fellow intern and I were hard at work in the office when he called out from his Mac, "What's your favorite font?"

Usually I find the "what's your favorite ..." game infuriatingly futile. But at the time my heart was unquestionably set on Garamond. I said as much, and my coworker replied that was his favorite font too. (We were both married - to other people - lest you think this is turning into the well-beloved Nacho Libre toast scene.)

He then countered, saying, "But if Garamond isn't an option, next is Palatino."

Which, of course, was my second favorite font, too.*

Do you have a favorite font? More to the point, do you have a favorite runner-up?

Bonus question: How do you feel about the recent proliferation of Calibri documents now that Word's default has switched from Times New Roman?

*I still like Garamond for formal documents, but Verdana has a good casual feel.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

May need to check out the Carol Burnett Show from the library

While reading Gone With the Wind the other night (now on pg 798), I had a sudden impulse to watch a few scenes from the movie. The first YouTube hit for "Gone With the Wind Part 1" starred, not Vivien Leigh but Carol Burnett.

Just to give you an idea, this is a still from the scene where she comes down in her new green dress made of the drapes.

Parts 1 and 2, for your enjoyment.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I know I'm not good at paying attention to 2 things at once. But I always convince myself I am. Today, I came home from work, listening to a history lecture on reconstruction in the south after the Civic War. I tried to continue listening to the lecture while reading blog posts and thinking about what I might post on my blog tonight.

Well, I read most of the blog posts, but all I can remember about reconstruction is that after the initial influx of blacks into leadership positions there was some key turning point that then led to the rise of power for white plantation southerners. Gee.

I decided to test my ability with this Multitasking Game (***Loud music warning if you click on this link***). I think my high score was around 450. After a few minutes I felt my blood pressure rising and had to stop playing.

If you want more food for thought, here's an interesting Stanford study about multitasking. Note: The results are quite negative towards media-multitaskers. But I have some contentions with the tasks. It seems that the multitaker's strength would be in accomplishing 2 goals at the same time. However, the tests are all about accomplishing 1 goal, and filtering out interfering information.